Pujo Diary 2015 - Ashtami/Nabami

This year's Pujo schedule has been a little confusing, having the days overlapped with each other. As per the Panjika (the Indian Hindu astronomical almanac) both Ashtami and Nabami fell on the very same solar day. Hence even if it was still the same day, Ashtami was over by 8.11 am and Nabami began. As a result, the most important Ashtami'r Anjali was scheduled to happen very early in the morning. I had shown ample exuberance the day before that I was going for the early morning Anjali. However most of my high spirit was fogged under the thick blanket of sleepiness when Ma came to wake me up at 6 O' clock in the morning. After some good dose of yelling and emotional blackmail, my sleep was gone for good and I got up to get ready. After taking shower and donning the saree (saree is the official dress code for Anjali) when we reached the Pandal, the clock almost struck 7. It is a custom that every one goes for Anjali in their own Para pandal. The Anjali did not take much time. Nowadays, every one is highly professional; from the priest to Ma Durga herself. With increasing demand from the corporate sponsors and growing population, the per capita time devoted must be curtailed. I have always been one of those devotees who can only get the "Sharanye Tryambake Gauri, Narayanee Namohstute" part right during the Anjali session. Rest is nothing but a flurry of lots of difficult Sanskrit words to me. Let's be honest, I have been one of those scared to death student and devotee of Ma Saraswati, to whom "Vidyasthane Bhoyebhacho" seemed the most appropriate and contemporary part in the whole Mantra.

The morning Anjali gathering

This Benarasi silk saree was a birthday gift of last year from a very important person. Although the saree is very beautiful, I ended up looking fat in it. I could not drape it properly either amidst all the hurry and sleepiness.

Every year I spend half the Pujo at my best friend D's place in Ajaynagar and this year was no exception. Although I did not hope to see much of her this year as her husband was in Calcutta. However, we got to spend enough time together. After gulping down unwillingly a few Loochis (despite the popular myth that Loochi is Bengali's novelty food, I hate it big time) I started for Ajaynagar with a huge backpack on my back. By the evening I was at D's place and as I explained before, it was technically Nabami already. We are part of a big girl gang there and when we meet, all hell break loose. And the Nabami evening was only the beginning of this year's frenzy. Do check out my Instagram gallery to get a touch of the crazy things we did this Pujo.

Thanks to the future fashion designer A, I got it right this time. She is a doll.